In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr said those historic words. His dream was one that many people thought impossible to see in their lifetime. I wasn’t even born yet, and have only seen the old tapes of that speech, heard other orators give it on Marting Luther King day.
Today, we in America celebrate a man who was instrumental in bringing the same rights to all people. Yes, we have a long way to go still, but we continue to work towards equal rights for all. Tomorrow, we will see the very first black man to be inaugurated as President of the US in our country’s history.
On election night, I watched an African-American win the popular vote and secure the votes for the Electoral college necessary to become our next President. As I was watching President-Elect (for one more day) Obama’s acceptance speech, I saw the Rev. Jesse Jackson in the crowd, crying.
And it hit home what a historic day it was.
It doesn’t matter whether you are conservative or liberal or moderate, it doesn’t matter if you think everybody else is on the whacko fringe, or if you would be considered on the whacko fringe by others.
For the first time in the history of our nation we have a non-white person as President.
There are times when I feel like giving up, as far as fat acceptance goes. There are times it just seems like the obesity epipanic and bigotry and prejudice against fat people are too ingrained into the global society. I watch as friends and relatives succumb to the allure of weight loss surgery, and my heart bleeds for them. Their choice was not made lightly, and in the case of one friend working on getting the weight loss surgery now, he has had to fight his insurance company every step of the way. And he still knows that “when he looses all the weight” he will have to somehow come up with more money to have plastic surgery as he knows the insurance won’t pay to have the extra skin removed.
I read responses to my posts which never make it out of moderation, calling me all sorts of names. I look at the reality of governments taking children away from their otherwise loving families, because the children are fat and are therefor being abuse. I look at beautiful people who have grown to hate themselves, who call themselves a failure because they can’t lose ten or twenty or a hundred pounds (or if they do lose it, they gain it all back and then some). Who hate themselves because they can’t sustain an unsustainable weight, to fit into a global society where one size fits all, and if you don’t match that size 0, then you are only worthy to be ridiculed.
Change can happen. It can happen on a global scale. I have to remember that. As I listen to President-Elect Obama take his oath of office, and the speech he will give after, I have to remember where this country was just a hundred and 30 years ago, struggling to heal the hurts of war. I have to remember where this country was just 100 years ago with Jim Crow laws and any non-white male not being allowed to vote. I have to remember the struggles of the 60’s, the riots, the peaceful demonstrations, the movements that helped us to progress as far as we can.
Another of my heroes said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” I have to remember that as I listen to (what I assume will be) President-Elect Obama’s message of hope and change.
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